The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

August 30, 2013

Pilots coming from far and wide for fly-in


"We have been working really hard since the second week of July," said Liszczyk.

“Timing was really tight with just under two weeks,” agreed Cox.

In addition to reconditioning the airplane with installation of new undercarriage and engine as well as some wing repair and regular maintenance, he had to pass the American Airplane Maintenance License exam.

“Three weeks ago, the new motor was sitting in a crate in Coventry,” he laughed.

Prior to obtaining his pilot license four years ago, Cox was an aircraft mechanic. After logging a successful three-hour test flight to Ontario with the new engine, the pair headed to their longtime goal, the Oshkosh, Wis., fly-in, then on to the AAA/APM fly-in, so far logging 75 hours of flight time this summer. Vacation is almost done, and they will return to England Sept. 6. Saturday evening or Sunday morning they will start to Spokane, where they will “put the airplane to bed” before going home, where Cox flies for a survey company doing mapping and Liszczyk is a physicist in exploration.

Ryan Combs of Kansas City, Mo., flew the oddest aircraft on the grounds, a Rans Airaile experimental. Basically, the aircraft is only a glass, semi-enclosed two-place cockpit, motor, propellers and a tail perched at the end of a long tube. First produced in 1990 in Kansas City, Mo., and still in production, Combs said the airplane is designed as an ultra-light trainer and exported to developing countries because it is light, can easily take off from small grass air strips and is relatively inexpensive.

Refueling in Centerville, he needed only eight gallons of fuel.

“It handles well, more like a traditional airplane,” said Combs, who is more accustomed to flying a Cessna. He plans to add doors before colder weather.


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